Ganesha the Viking
28 November 2013 @ 10:51 am
‣ books/videos on religions or religious history (esp Hinduism and Norse mythology)
‣ simple books in French or Norwegian (children's books only for Norwegian, children's books or chapter books for French)
‣ essential oils (especially 'cleansing' ones, ones for disinfecting, or ones that are soothing or 'invigorating' (ones that might be good for combating winter blues?)
‣ resistance/'pilates' bands
‣ giftcards (PacSun, Barnes & Noble, American Eagle, Amazon, and especially for services like massages)
‣ if you feel like getting me general paraphernalia; themes of elephants, snakes, tigers, fish, massage, or Star Trek are all fun times
Ganesha the Viking
13 May 2013 @ 05:35 am
I'm getting so exhausted about sudden interpersonal dramas - I had been incredibly excited that graduating high school meant I was also leaving behind that notion that I was stuck with people I didn't like against my will, still had to play their games or just be miserably overlooked when I chose to ignore them. So this new familial trouble is not a fresh breed, but it's shrouded in secrets and angry revelations and I'm getting so very tired of being burned while told to look away.

Couple that with the fact that an admittedly terrible misunderstanding is gnawing at both me and the other party, and I'm at a loss as to what my next step should be.
Ganesha the Viking
25 February 2013 @ 06:11 pm
* )
Ganesha the Viking
15 February 2013 @ 01:38 pm
So! There's always a myriad of reasons as to why this journal isn't updated with any regularity or frequency (mostly consisting of "I didn't want to" "my coffee got cold" or "the cat was sitting in my lap so I couldn't get up") but for the past two weeks, I only got internet back as of this Tuesday, because my fiancee and I moved out. That's right, the thing I've been talking about and praying for and losing sleep worrying about since a time before I even got this account has finally happened.

We've got a roommate and our lovely feline Jasmine is still thankfully with us, one $250 non-refundable-but-completely-worth-it pet deposit later. Laundry is a pain and yet easier and quicker (albeit astronomically expensive compared to even what I was expecting) due to us needing to use a laundromat. I'm actually really enjoying HAVING to be away from the computer for so long, for daily chores and upkeep to so wholly encroach on my daily life that I hardly have room anymore for too much lolling about in front of the dull glare of my monitor. In fact I'm on the laptop right now, my desktop sitting proud but less-used on a desk without a chair, a makeshift stool and upturned tote box holding the keyboard and mouse. Everything looks different through the glasses of this being a different environment, and I'm still getting used to how I function in this new setting. It feels unreal but incredibly easy, a pain in the ass but a worthwhile one. I can't say I adore doing dishes in one large load and then scattered scrubbings throughout the day after meals and snacks (no more dishwasher) but it's doing wonders for getting me up off my ass and doing something. Kat and I have even started making promises to go for walks more, something we haven't bothered doing since I got my car...last June.

Two weeks is enough to let me know that I need to start budgeting food money (and communicating to the roommate just how much she should owe my fiancee and I for all the essentials of ours she keeps eating) a lot tighter, but we're in no dire straights.

I'd say I can't believe I've come this far, but it feels so surprisingly easy and natural, like taking your first breath of air, I suppose. This apartment is already safer and kinder to live in than my parents' house has felt in years, and I'm ready to keep working on making it our home.
Ganesha the Viking
28 December 2012 @ 09:20 am
I'm not going to pretend that I don't get frustrated and have days where even getting out of bed seems an offense to everything I hold dear, but most of the time - despite how hectic everything is - I really love my job(s). Not the diplomacy of it or the standing-around-waiting-for-clients bit, but the actual massaging and connecting with people and gradually feeling more comfortable both in my own skin and when interacting with others. It's amazing realizing how much I've grown and I really hope that someday I can get everything splurted out my brain all at once, in one location, to share with other people.

The human body and its connection to the mind is amazing and I am so thankful for those great, interactive clients I get on occasion who really let me explore that link.

The most recent noteworthy event at work was with an elderly client of mine that I've had for...probably three months or so? He comes in every other week and he's very friendly. I need to speak loudly and in small snippets or else he gets confused/can't process things very well, but he's really very coherent. He'll suddenly spout out a question or two about what I'm doing and the human body, and I love clients who want to be involved in the process instead of just a passive audience to me working on them. :)

About a month ago he remarked to me that he's struggled with keeping his weight down for years, and that he "can look at food and gain weight", but since beginning to get massages he's finally not only kept his weight even but lost several pounds. He seemed to think it was silly, but he thought there might be a connection, and that is interesting. I mean, it's one thing to read in a textbook (about massage therapy) that its effects including stress-reduction means that in theory it could help with things worsened by stress - such as weight, but it's another to see that in action.

It's not something the AMA is going to publish anytime soon, but I'd say it's pretty clear that for some open-minded people "alternative" medicine choices like massage is very obviously a benefit to their health.
Ganesha the Viking
10 December 2012 @ 11:14 am
I feel like I keep going through crisis periods where everything feels like it's falling apart, and nihilistic ideas ring through me as if they're the only truth. I've never really felt so desperately dark before now, when I'm in one of those moods - but I've been getting through them, lately, because I'm finally really internalizing and believing what I'd been just telling myself for years. Life has to balanced between good and bad things, and what that really means is that if I want to be able to FEEL at all, I have to have some terrible times and difficult mornings and car-crying sessions to be able to feel elation and simple pleasures like cups of coffee and late nights with friends and breakthroughs with clients. Sometimes I wonder if other people have such violently ill periods of thought, sort of a vomiting session of the mind so that you can go about the rest of your next few days uninterrupted and much soothed, but then I figure it's best to focus on what works for me instead. (Although I do still wonder!)

I've also been finding lately that my decision - because that's what it WAS, about four years ago when I heard someone critique "open-minded" people of being exactly the opposite - to be truly more open-minded has...really been working. I don't get upset when hearing most conflicting views (when told in a normal format) and even when someone is angry. After reading parts of a book (for myself) on anger management and several on childhood development I feel like I can...understand, at least in basic concepts, why people like say my mother are so unaccountably rude and volatile at random times, and I try to keep my cool in return. Why let their negativity wash through me as well, when it's themselves that are the problem - not me?

Ever since embracing religion and learning more about it - all different kinds of religions, not just Christianity - I've felt a lot calmer about other different beliefs to my own. I used to be a defensive and aggressive atheist, mostly because of my parents being that way and some religious people taking a strange offense to me just...stating that I wasn't Christian. I felt alienated for something that hadn't even been a conscious decision on my part, just the way I'd been raised, and I was understandably upset over it. But now it's just another facet of learning about how humans function, how we used to explain the unexplainable and how we still reach into that rich pocket of ancient not-quite-understanding to help ourselves.

I had a lot I wanted to discuss and I feel like I'm just barely scraping the surface of everything, it's been so long since I wrote about myself at length on the computer, and not just scribbling down in notebooks some of my feelings so I could better cope with them. xD

In conclusion: I had a terrible past two weeks interspersed sparingly with some phenomenally good times, and my morning at work just absolutely saved my mood. I love that I can love my job.
Ganesha the Viking
15 November 2012 @ 10:40 am
I've been slowly re-integrating my altar and chanting into my life. I wouldn't go so far as to call myself a theist, but knowing that there is some proven science behind chanting helps further me into using it in my life. It gives me something to concentrate on, divine powers or no. I adore using the gods I find in Hindu and Norse and all the rest of the mythologies to help personify ideas, obstacles, and positive notions. It's like a shorthand for life's troubles and if a placebo works, why knock it?

I also just got a second job, at a nearby-ish salon, and my fiancée and a mutual friend have all filled out an application for an apartment! Money will be tight at first but I anticipate working pretty much full-time, by hook or by crook, come January or February. I've giving my current jobs some time to give me more hours and if not, I'll just get a third job at a coffee shop or a petstore to fill my downtime with some minimum wage - it's better than nothing, and I think I can handle twenty hours a week of bad bosses and bad customers if I have massage to look forward to outside of that. It should keep me grounded and feeling like I have a purpose, instead of the uphill struggle that it was to work at Dunkin Donuts 35 hours a week, without a car, and still try to set up interviews for jobs I couldn't even drive myself to. Life is a lot better now, even if it's more expensive, and I wouldn't go back to my childhood if someone paid me anyway.

It's looking good, I just have to stay motivated and strong.
Current Music: Patti Smith → Gloria
Current Mood: determined
Ganesha the Viking
14 October 2012 @ 10:52 am
Listening to The Presets this morning and having a lot of thoughts, ideas that have at least the promise of the ability to help me move forward in life.

The internet is a really bizarre thing, internet popularity even moreso. I love being able to see people from so many different walks of life and their interpretations of things, I like digging inside people's heads and abilities and gathering up to myself whatever I find useful. When friendships get forged and then I'm suddenly bored with a particular website, or the internet in general, or I'm simply busy - whatever happens that keeps me offline for extended periods of time, I realise that probably makes me some sort of bad internet friend.

On the other hand, the internet is just to supplement real life, not replace it, and I'm trying to convince myself it's okay to shuffle through and past different facets of this place as suit me.

Going through someone's tumblr and the books I'm reading right now/were gifted for my birthday have made me want to draw, ahh. There's a lovely feeling. I've lost most of the talent I used to have for it, having spent so much time just writing and typing. The last real undertaking I did was an acrylic painting of Ganesha, which admittedly went well but I count as more of a fluke. xD

That's another thing! Real mediums are so much more engaging to work with on occasion, even if my tablet is very very handy, especially for things like sketching out characters for nonsense fandom things.~ But it's hard to transfer in-person paintings and sketches reliably online to share, something which makes the creative process a lot more engaging for me. I might have to start actually using my tumblr for my art if I want to share it - now there's a weird thought. So far it's been almost nothing but endless reblogs, it'll feel weird to have original content there. xD But I much prefer it to deviantArt at this point, so...
Current Mood: artistic
Current Music: If I know you
Ganesha the Viking
Woah, freedom.

I just quit the DW-hosted roleplaying game I've mentioned before - you know, before my other huge hiatus from posting as myself anywhere that didn't have a Twitter-esque character limit. (For all my love of plurk's handiness for communicating to the masses, I've been slowly beginning to miss talking at length.)

I have to say, my drive for writing has been dying lately, mostly due to the time constraints and oddly enough, quotas placed on people in most DW-based games. (You're required to make a certain number of posts a month, which simply is doubled/tripled/as you add more characters, rather than encouraging a small player base with a variety of characters to prevent boredom for the writers/realism since not every type of character would be involved in every type of plot.) I assume it comes from the average roleplayer being someone with, well, a lot of free time to spend online. But when you're in a committed relationship and have some nice real life friends, or even just want to read real books and not fic some days, it suddenly becomes exponentially harder to keep up with 10+ (even 20+) threads/individual storylines at once. A hobby should be something that's done as just that, something you enjoy in your free time, not something you need to MAKE time for or go out of your way to accomodate in your schedule. I found myself apologising for my absence more and more and even taking a hiatus didn't work, so.

Did I mention I became a 'maintenance mod' there? Although I had all the responsibilities of the main mods (reviewing apps, adding tags in comms, editing entries, etc) I didn't have as much...sway in things? And I was afraid of stepping on toes, plus I didn't want to make it my game because I already had a brain baby of an idea with Kat that I'd rather spend my time cultivating.

Kat was someone I had to sort of wheedle into joining, and she's been miserable since before she even did so, and her finally admitting she'd like to quit was what let me realise it would be okay if I did - since I didn't want to leave her high and dry if she wasn't prepared to leave, especially as I was one of the few muns who interacted with her character as if he wasn't the Plague. So we both quit yesterday amid one mod seeming...upset, one being placated quickly enough, and the other (now ex) mod not appearing to have an opinion. u_u

I'll miss the relationships and storylines I had built there, but I can always continue that with them on our own time in memes/other places if they enjoyed them also. Really I just can't handle the structure of roleplays here - they seem specifically designed to encourage people into bad computer habits. It teaches everyone that you NEED to post a certain amount of times and makes it into a job, something that a casual roleplayer would be turned off by - Kat and I actually had a friend refuse to app because of how the comm is run. On the plus side, I finally found a truly laid back community that doesn't lie to the players, is friendly and has no 'timeline' of a day-to-day ratio between in- and out of-game , I just don't...understand the need for timing things. So yeah. :'D

In other news, work is going fantastically, although it needs to go even better before I can move out! That or Kat and I need a third roommate to rent with, aha. But it's going very well and I'm basically the 'lead' massage therapist at this point - I work four days a week while no one else works more than one, and I'm guaranteed a certain amount of hours' worth of pay regardless of the hours I work. (Which I am slowly climbing above! We're slowly growing the client base and it's a great feeling to see my work paying off. ;-; <3 It's lovely doing something I'm passionate about and confident in as a job.)
Ganesha the Viking
23 July 2012 @ 11:14 am
Wow at this point, I'm surprised Firefox even remembered my username for this account. It feels like it's been sooo long since I didn't just go right to my roleplaying journals...

So it's been a while, yes? And in that time, shock of all shocks, things actually happened for me instead of the usual languishing about making promises I don't ever keep. I got my license and a car, for starters. ♥ So my next step is to get a steadier job so that Kat and I are making an appropriate amount of money, save UP said money, get her through a hairdressing school, and move out.~ I'm currently broke and without what used to be a fairly impressive store of stashed-away money due to getting a car (2k out of pocket) and insurance (1.5k out of pocket, currently making payments to cover the other 1.5k that my insurance ended up being) but I couldn't be happier about the freedom having a license and a vehicle gives me. ;-; Now I can finally work out of town/out of access of public transport, so that means I just have to man up enough to make some calls and do some interviews, and I'll be well on my way to making enough to help support my girlfriend and I in our own apartment. ♥

I've been gone largely because of roleplaying, to be completely honest. Everyone uses the site Plurk to keep in contact and I've been blown away by how convenient it is! It's sort of like Twitter, if Twitter were infinitely more useful and allowed you to have conversations on individual tweets instead of an endless feed of ≤140 characters. My name there is operapaintingandmurder, in case any of you people would like to add me there/are interested in making accounts/etc. I'll add anyone, seriously, I've found its format - for whatever reason - is even less intimidating to me than DW as far as meeting new people. It feels very conversational because of the response times, I suppose? It's like a chatroom but with less penises.

So the story of how Kathryn lost her concentration and abandoned her dreamwidth account for a month or so. Sorry to anyone who actually recalls me/missed me. :X

Seriously though, add me on Plurk if you have an account. Or make one if you don't. It's awesome. /shot
Ganesha the Viking
11 June 2012 @ 08:20 am
I'm usually not one for dissecting or dwelling over dreams, especially since they seem to dissipate particularly quickly for me lately. Yesterday though, I had a dream about Tori/that cousin I've occasionally mentioned having a particularly nasty falling out with, and it wasn't...very pleasant? There wasn't much fighting in the dream (in fact I believe I was giving her a ride somewhere and she was even nice enough to sit in the back to make it less awkward) but after waking up, it just brought it all back to me so that made it unpleasant. (I wonder if this is my dreams and waking moments combining together to tell me that no matter how much getting back together with old traitorous friends may seem emotionally in the moment, that common sense dictates I just shouldn't risk it? Or the other way around? Hmm. Recently I had time to spend with Tori and another mutual, past friend, but said past friend has actually apparently matured more than Tori has. Tori's too quick and easy with lying for me to trust her, much as I was drawn to her when we were younger. I just don't think I could ever really feel at ease with her knowing me the way she used to. =|

But the friend, she's gotten better, waaaay better and I'm honestly happy for her. I actually hoped - since the time hanging out went so well and since they'd mentioned talking about me and both had reached out to me previously - that my attempts in kind would be well-responded to. But they've yet to contact me since then and it's been over a month. Clearly whatever we had before is well and truly something of the past and to be ignored, even if not actually 'dead'? I can't imagine what I would be safe getting out of a relationship with those two, after all. I'm forever a third (or fifth) wheel, useful only for steering everyone else off course or to be leaned on for extra support but not really needed. I've always felt disposable with them and at the end of junior/senior years, it finally happened and it's just not...going to work out again, I think.

At least now I have a couple new friends who don't seem quite so shimmery with deceipt, and I've also grown enough to be able to just...take current friendships as they are. If they use information they learn about me against me, who cares? We're not in high school anymore, anyone they tell I probably won't even SEE again. It's so easy to ignore slights now and I'm really...enjoying being out of high school despite missing the learning experience and some teachers (from both high school and college). I've moved beyond slut-shaming and I haven't been shy about my sexuality since I was like, 13/14, so there's really no weapons to be had against me. I'm too open now. xD And that's sort of freeing to realise.
Current Mood: hopeful
Ganesha the Viking
06 June 2012 @ 10:19 pm
My girlfriend and two mutual friends of ours had an absolutely amazing day/night together. We ended up getting home a lot later than planned and in fact ended up missing both (all three?) possible trains in our ecstatic and time-ignorant conversations, which culminated in Kat (girlfriend) and I getting a ride home from our friends' mother when she was headed off to her nightshift job.

It started off as almost a rant on one of their parts about a dissolving friendship with a roommate who was moving out, someone who clearly could use help but a lot of animosity had been built towards them because this person takes and is rude, etc, and it brought up a lot of conversation about the nature of relationships and having to hit rock bottom to learn to pull yourself back up and fight for yourself. From there it just spiraled up and out into a free-for-all about religion, spirituality, growth, personal meanings of symbols and ideas and of taking bits and pieces of everything in life to assemble something deeper for yourself.

Basically everything I half-assedly will do in my head was happening out loud with three people I feel very comfortable with, and it felt like all of us were very...connected and on the top of our games tonight. One of our friends just recently went off-meds and she seemed so alive earlier (and lately, but it especially showed today) it was truly beautiful. I loved sitting back and listening to everyone's personal stories just as much as adding my own (perhaps more, since that's the sort of person that I am; a listener).

It's renewed my interest in spirituality and self-expression, something which I actually tend to actively tamp down in myself because I've always been taught that to exist in society as a functioning cog in the clockwork of it all, you just have to give up some parts of expression. For my job I need to be extremely neutral, to the point of expressing anything "fruity" potentially making me seem like "one of those hippies" (I'm a massage therapist, for anyone not in the know) and it's been easy, since I'm naturally a withdrawn sort of person most of the time, for that to bleed over. It's hard for me to go out in public in certain styles of dress and not feel like an idiot or like I'm being judged. I almost always want to impress people and seem like someone to be respected and it's so hard for me to balance that with self-realisation, expression, and respect.

In Daoism, the idea of doing what YOU want and what comes naturally to YOU is what is most important, and in Confucianism on the surface it's completely the opposite. You only exist in relation to others, and interpersonal formalities are the foundations of its ideals. I feel like I'm constantly torn between these two extremes and both make sense to me. Humans exist in society and society needs certain rules for interaction, but everyone (especially in America) is really taught to never just be "one of the crowd". We're all taught that we need to be leaders to be respected, not followers, and that we need to pursue the "American dream" of making as much money as possible.

But in truth, if everyone was a leader, nothing would get done. Without garbagemen, without people pouring your coffee, life would be a lot different. If everyone had a lot of money, the worth of it would just deflate and no one would have any money. You need "followers", you NEED not-leaders in society and I've... I don't feel ashamed to be one of them. I've struggled with that idea for a really long time, in a time and place that shames those who are willing to "settle", but I've been coming to terms with it and I truly believe that it's just as noble to recognise your use in serving others as well as serving yourself. It's a mixture of the two that's necessary for society to function, for people to be happy and fulfilled.

And I'm going to sign off now and attempt to go to bed and sleep before journeying off to the Cape tomorrow; I simply feel bad that I have ~all these thoughts~ lately and I haven't actually written anything down here. Sorry if it's incoherent, awesome if you get something from it, and I love all of you. ♥
Current Mood: ecstatic
Ganesha the Viking
18 May 2012 @ 03:00 pm
Okay, so I have a serious need to write something, and I'm willing to take prompts from all you lovely people!

Just copypaste down below and put in the fandom/characters (or pairing, most likely xD), a prompt (can be a word or a phrase or anything of the sort; even a plot bunny if you're feeling fiesty), and a suggested rating if you'd like. (If you just want porn, now is the time to say so - and if you want something that's just gen, also the time to say that.)

Uhm, for fandoms I'm familiar with it's a mix of things from my profile and things not listed. xD If you're unsure, just ask?
Ganesha the Viking
Yesterday in Petco I saw a boy run up to the ferrets, telling his brother, "I want to see the raccoons!" Ignoring how obnoxious those kids were otherwise (and oh, the stories I could tell about terrible parenting and how hard Kat and I helped get them out of that store), that was hilarious.
Current Music: Viens Habibi → Cheb Mami
Ganesha the Viking
03 May 2012 @ 11:48 am
I got into a long "discussion" with my sister yesterday/last night, because she posted a video of Stephen Fry talking about how belief in the afterlife impedes your ability to live a good this-life. (It actually wasn't as condescending as I had imagined it to be initially, though.)

Playing the mediator card as I so often do, especially about something I'm as passionate about as religious studies, I just tried to debunk some of the generalizations I was seeing. I'd also lent my sister, per her request, my copy of the Bhagavad Gita: As It Is (so the translation by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada), and she had started texting me how "Christianity totally ripped off Hinduism". I agreed that a lot of cultures have similar things in their religions (otherwise how would we even know to call it "religion" if not reoccuring themes?) and asked her what SHE found to be similar. When she replied with "dogma" and the forcing of strict relgious practices on practitioners, I tried to explain that the Bhagavad Gita is, while the more modern Hindu epic text, not the end-all of religious authority. First there was the rigidity of fire sacrifice told about in the Vedas, then the more philosophical turn of the Upanishads, then the epic tales of the Ramayana and Mahabharata (the Bhagavad Gita is a book inside the Mahabharata). And nowadays, the people who identify as Hindu are generally just practitioners of Bhakti Yoga, which is what the Bhagavad Gita kinda kicked off anyway. Basically, they're simply devoted to a god of their choosing and that's...their religion. Individual practices are based on what country/area they're from and level of devoutness, etc.

So I was trying to get across that just because she's now finally read one of the "Hindu" texts, it doesn't mean that it's viewed the way Christians view their Bible - it doesn't tell them exactly what to do, but provided a starting point for a cultural/religious shift.

Well, my sister hates being argued with and apparently decided I was calling her stupid by "telling her things [she] already knows" and even went so far as to decide that calling me "butthurt" was a good way to reassure me that she was perfectly calm in this discussion.

Obviously I'm done responding to her if she's being so ridiculous, but it was pretty trying for me to have her be insulting huge swaths of cultures and religions and simply hand-waving the facts I was trying to show her as "Oh you just think you're smarter than me because you've read more than me, but I know more than you about religion because I've been interested in it longer and I wanted to study religion in college at one point!". Uhm, no. This isn't a contest about who knows more, this is about learning to respect other cultures and not just assume that everyone who identifies as a certain religion practices in the same way.

But of course, my sister thinks she can do no wrong and that if you try to correct her or show her new information, that what you're really saying is "I'm smarter than you". I realise I'm not perfect and perhaps my tone wasn't as neutral as I can hope it was, but it's frustrating when she immediately feels cornered and starts getting insultingly self-defensive.

This sort of reminds me of the time she told me that all Muslims follow the Quran to the letter and are prejudiced and violent. I mean, literally said to me that their religion is terrible and inherently all about killing people who disagree with you, and that anyone who identifies as Muslim but might NOT feel that way just isn't a true Muslim. I just... Hopefully she doesn't say stuff like that in public, I guess?
Ganesha the Viking
I walked Kat to work this morning at 5:30, as I did yesterday, because I don't suffer enough anymore (no sarcasm here! I'm bored with sleeping in because of my new job). It's also a nice way to make sure I 1) go for a walk and 2) have enough time in the day for all that gripping stuff I'm sure I do and just don't remember to tell anyone (or myself) about.

On my way home, I noticed a hilariously puffed-up tom turkey trying to get the attention of a group of less-than-impressed neighboring females who seemed intent only on not looking in his direction. Turkeys have a strange, brush-like thing on their chest that usually hangs limply down but, when they display, sticks out. I could look up the name to provide and pretend I knew it all along, but for now I'll just leave that embedded image where it is to help out with my less-than-scientific knowledge of turkey anatomy. I'll also point out that the first thing to occur to me about said brush-like protrusion of hair was "if Thomas Harris were writing this scene, he would have just described it as being like a penis dangling off the bird's chest".

Who is Thomas Harris and why would I make that sort of internal comment? Why am I asking rhetorical questions? I'm glad you asked! See, I needed a good lead-in to why I'm about to tear apart the author of one of the most iconic villains of recent years, Hannibal Lecter. (What do you mean, the 90s aren't recent anymore?)

Let's get this party started, and remember all opinions are my own and I wouldn't be bothering with writing this in the first place if it weren't for my strange, feverish love of the Lecter character.

And in the world of real literary critics, a tear was sniffed proudly back as an amateur angrily mashed keys as if her word were law )

Whoo! Two hours later and I feel much better, and actually less frustrated about a certain author's style. Watching The Cinema Snob has really helped develop my lack of appreciation for "professional critics", and this is my first time ever putting down a creator of anything with such vigor (well, on the internet - in real life I can rant or rave for hours about books I read). As with all things in life though, experience is the best teacher, and hopefully that was as cathartic for me to write as it might be interesting for someone to look through (this is unlikely). In summary: Thomas Harris is a strange, fetish-fueled man who nonetheless inspired me with his description of a serial killer's Memory Palace (when he wasn't making me squirm with his description of taxed buttons on a large police woman's uniform, mind).
Ganesha the Viking
29 April 2012 @ 09:47 pm
After spending most of this year so far keeping my eye out for a potential roleplay to join, I've finally found one (I hope)! I'm still waiting on Kat to look it over and decide if she'll be applying with me, but I couldn't help it and I started my application already. And holy cripes, it's the most in-depth thing I've ever seen. And despite how much I'm being encouraged to write a lot on it and be very thorough, I'm still a little worried I'll write TOO much! xD

Because of a combination of things, I'm applying as Hannibal first and foremost. He's been my main muse as of late, and because of the comm's strict rules about keeping fandom characters canon, he's the only one I'm confident sending in so far. (My others - House and Jadzia - I changed greatly from the source material, to make them work in the words they were being applied to. I'd need to seriously re-think their basics and then specifics, essentially building them from the ground up again, to apply as them. At least so far. Until I know the world a bit better and the mods at ALL, I'm keeping to my unexpected pet muse. ♥)

Also, it's not even 10pm yet and I'm on the computer like a naughty teenager after lights-out, because Kat fell asleep on me a half hour ago after one last episode of Avatar: the Last Airbender. xD She's so cute. ♥ I feel bad that she works so much, though. D: I wish I still worked at Dunk's sometimes just to take a day from her now and then to give her a quick vacation.

Anyway, just wanted to stop by with some useless good-mooded rambling.
Current Mood: excited
Ganesha the Viking
10 April 2012 @ 09:16 am
As I post and read more on online forums, I'm re-seeing the same arguments I witnessed when I was younger and on the same forums. It's really interesting seeing my growth over time based on my changing views on all these familiar subjects.

In fact, filling something out today about which Myer-Briggs Type I am sort of sums it up, even if it over-simplifies (as all personality tests do, but they're still fun!). I used to score as an INTP, an introverted thinker with bad social skills. I was proud of this, that I used logic above all else. I also remember feeling profoundly unfulfilled, lonely and unable to alter it, and my self-confidence was nonexistant on all matters except my intellect. This was during middle school and the beginning of my high school, when I hid myself in baggy clothes and long hair and got into arguments online about how stupid religious people (by which I meant "Christians") were for deluding themselves about ideas on their Sky Creator.

I remember starting to, as most teenagers do, self-diagnosis my issues and so I turned to databases not of mood disorders, but of personality ones - I took tests for Schizoid and scored high and was fairly certain I had it, or at least that it functioned as an apt description of me. I've also had genuine issues with something called dissociation since I was young, which websites tell me is usually due to childhood trauma and bad coping mechanisms and with which I (and my past therapist) agree.

After my first significant other entered my life, however, I felt a bit of a change. It's not as though my ex-boyfriend and I were particularly close (emotionally) - we had few things in common except enjoying each other's physical company and rarely did more than just talk about inane things, watch movies, or make out. I never once considered the idea of being with him long-term, and in fact the entire latter half of our short relationship was rocky and strained due to him dumping me, then us getting back together and clearly not working out but being too nervous to actually do anything about it and leave ourselves alone. there, I think, is where I first started allowing myself to really feel things. It felt like I was "waking up".

I've always worried it sounds incredibly ridiculous and dramatic to talk about this, so I never do, not to anyone except myself. In fact I have pages of journal entries and hoards of unpublished files on my computer about how I felt I was waking up and finally feeling things, how having intimate physical contact and having to be so raw around someone (and deal with the societal/friend issues that come up when you're a teenager in a relationship) seemed to be doing something, for better or for worse. I was miserable but alive, and I recall exercising obsessively in that time period as an outlet.

Somewhere between that (my freshman/sophomore years) and meeting Kat and now, I've finally started learning how to deal with really feeling things. My dissociation/depersonalization is generally something that only happens rarely, at random, instead of being constantly triggered by any negative thought. I haven't self-harmed at all in something like a year, and I haven't consistently be self-harming in well over two. I stopped taking my anti-depressants about six months after beginning them, in my junior year, because of the side-effects, and I've stopped going to therapy. While the experience of GOING to a therapist was very re-affirming and all, it's just not for me - or at the very least that particular lady was not.

I'm the sort of person that others will blow off as a "hippie" or, god forbid, "hipster" now, because of my huge interest in diet and exercise and its impact on my life. I've found eating better and exercising even moderately more helps both my mood and all the bodily aches I tend to have. And if something works solely on "placebo effect", scientifically speaking, that bothers me not one bit - just because it's a placebo doesn't mean it doesn't work. It means you're controlling your mind by tricking it into doing what you want, and from there it's just semantics as to whether or not that counts as "working".

Back to something vaguely related to my opening paragraph (holy crap I can ramble!), after being raised as an atheist with a disdain for religion - something my father especially impressed upon me - I've gotten over my repulsion of it. I started getting really interested in Paganism, and then Eastern philosophy, some time ago, but I was always afraid to really broadcast it. It seems that in online culture, white people who are interested in other religions/cultures are presumed to only be in it for the exoticism/'hipster'-ness of it, and that's been endlessly frustrating to me. But I seem to have finally found my niche in Hinduism, and I am constantly looking for books on religion. I'm reading one right now that I'm absolutely in love with, and knowing more facts has absolutely transformed my views on the Judeo-Christian-Islamic faiths. I own a (Christian) Bible, the Mahabharata and a seperate, second translation of the Bhagavad Gita, a selection of other Hindu stories, as well as several composite books on religion/philosophy and you know what? It's lost is scariness. I can deal with the occasional religious person online who may turn up their nose at other faiths/atheists/agnostics because I focus on the religions as a whole and they're fascinating.

I wouldn't call myself religious, but I'm certainly spiritual and it means quite a lot to me now. Nothing has ever stopped an anxiety attack for me as well as chanting Ganesha mantras and just breathing has. And reading the Bhagavad Gita in full, despite the prejudiced translation and notes by the "author", provided me a lot of time to mull over things and self-reflect.

I used to read quotes online mocking "liberals" and "open-minded" people who judge close-minded people for being that way, and I finally understand that argument. And I feel that I'm finally at the point in my life where, as long as someone isn't trying to infringe on others' rights because of their beliefs, I am perfectly okay with people having opinions that differ from my own, even radically different or prejudiced or offensive ones. Now of course unfortunately, generally people with extreme views want to push them on others, but that aside, I'm honestly content to live and let live. Why does it matter? Usually it wouldn't, unless you're the sort to flip off or cuss out people you meet in real life that you don't like. No one would ever know your true feelings on them unless you told them, so why bother being open-minded? To me it's about accepting humanity as it is, about allowing everyone else the same respect I was finally able to allow myself despite having anti-spiritual dogma thrown at me during childhood.

It also helps keep my blood pressure down when reading blogs or reading the news. ;) Oh, and for anyone curious, I now score as an INFP - the "T for thinking" has changed to an "F for feeling", and it's a grade I'm willing to live with despite the judgments others may have. xD
Current Mood: contemplative
Current Music: Kimbra → Call Me
Ganesha the Viking
10 January 2012 @ 05:49 pm
[personal profile] badkarma's and my baby, a panfandom/OC/RPF/anypossiblecharacter roleplay has finally opened. I cleaned it up, made a banner and a mod icon, and finished up the absolutely-necessary posts, though I'm still anticipating realising more things I should include to make it as accessible as possible.

So, if any of the people reading my journal are interested in roleplays, or have friends who are, [community profile] sanctuaryofchange_rp is a DW-based roleplay that just opened up. :) (Currently five characters, soon there will be six, and we're anticipating a slow growth from there.)

Anyway! I did my first massage for money this past Saturday, and even got a tip; which I don't think I truly earned but it made me feel good nonetheless. :3 I figured out a lot of weird things that I have to fix that I hadn't thought of yet (such as having a back-up system for music in case my computer freezes and I can't use iTunes, which is what happened; the silence can be a little awkward, plus the music covers over any ambient noise from the house/squeaky floorboards). I also need to figure out how to keep my cat quiet (poor thing) and I need to invest in an adjustable, wheeled stool, for helping with the supine neck/shoulders. But I've already decided to try to only spend money on massage that I earn on massage, and plan on ferreting away money from my jobs at home and at the spa downtown for using on renewing my license and insurance, and on continuing education classes. Then I'll alllow myself to start using the money as actual income. (I've got quite the financial hole to dig myself out of, considering how much being an LMT costs and how little I've made since getting my license for the first year. It's alright though, I just needed to mature, I think, before getting a job as an MT.)

I've got two more tomorrow, in my first time working for the spa, so I'm nervous about being in a new area and working around someone else's rules - but otherwise I'm pretty confident. I've done literally hundreds of massages on people I hardly/didn't at all know while in school, so I don't foresee any issues from that. ♥ And on Saturday? Two more. (That translates into $104, I believe, from about five hours of work, which I'm definitely okay with.)

As for things that aren't work-related, I feel a lot...happier about my life recently, actually. I had a fairly important event last Wednesday that I may or may not write about in the future that's helped me in my quest to change the way I view things, and it's been wonderful. :) I haven't made as much progress as I'd thought I would with learning Norwegian, but I'm alright with that because instead, I've been cleaning up my living area and practicing keeping calm (whether I'm faced with anger or anxiety) and I'm honestly pretty proud of my growth so far this year. I'm really hoping to keep it up, and to help myself I may set some solid resolutions for the next month; and do the same every new month, as I think goals are something you need to re-evaluate a lot more than just once a year.
Current Mood: cozy
Ganesha the Viking
12 December 2011 @ 01:43 pm
I'm having far, far too much fun writing a bit of fic for my girlfriend about two characters of ours that we usually use for roleplaying. ♥ I prefer roleplaying when I want interaction, and it's nice to get constant feedback (in the form of replies if nothing else) but there's something about controlling all involved characters and being able to have a steady style and my own choice of pacing that really is appealing. ;0; I just wish it wasn't set in a strange AU with two characters from very different fandom sources and a gay PWP with a pretense of plot, as well *shot* so that I could actually post it somewhere for other feedback, but oh well. xD

I've also taken to pretending I'm going to get better at drawing, and have been sketching quite a lot in the past few days (as compared to the quantity of illustrations I was producing weekly before, which was a fairly even average of 'none'). Mostly of different styles butchering the possible ways of rendering the Beatles (mainly George, poor guy) and, in a twist, Lady Gaga. I don't know, she's got a fairly distinct facial structure/body type that sticks out to me, and then there's of course the fact that her outfits and hair are always ridiculous and therefore let me practice a lot of different things while using the same source (and getting better at consistently drawing the same person). I feel a bit silly, but I find random crappy sheets of computer paper easier to sketch on than my actual sketch book. :( I think it's because of the way it bends out; it's not spiral-bound and therefore kinda hard to lay flat.

Also, 35 hours of work scheduled this week; which I'm trying my very best to be optimistic and smart about.~ I've been stretching constantly and I'm actually not in that much pain so far, so I've got high hopes. In the end, it'll help me start replenishing my drained funds from Christmas-shopping (I seriously go overboard when buying gifts for other people, it's just too fun for me D:) which will make me feel a lot better, so. ♥